Crews start to gain containment on Two Elk Fire near Minturn |

Crews start to gain containment on Two Elk Fire near Minturn

Vail Daily staff report

As of Sunday afternoon, the U.S. Forest Service declared the Two Elk Fire 25 percent contained.

The cause of the fire, which has burned 26 acres, is still under investigation. It is located east of the Minturn Shooting Range on Forest Service lands.

Total personnel is up to 60, main fuels is grass, mountain shrub and mixed conifer. No structures are threatened as of Sunday night.

Area closures include the Minturn Shooting Range/Two Elk Shooting Area, the Two Elk trail and the Cougar Ridge trail (starting at the Game Creek trail intersection). Game Creek Trail and Mill Creek trail remain open up to the intersection with the Two Elk trail.

As of Sunday, the Two Elk fire continues to creep and smolder in sage and mixed conifer vegetation; some single tree torching has been observed. On Sunday, a Hotshot crew will focus their suppression actions in some of the more technical terrain on the flanks of the fire working their way up the top of Cougar Ridge. In this area, they worked to establish hand and saw line and extinguish hot spots when and where it is safe to do so. Additional ground crews will focus on holding, securing and mopping-up hand line already in place from yesterday’s efforts. Four engines, a hot shot crew and a Type 2 hand crew are on scene. Air resources, including two Type 1 helicopters are on standby and will be used as needed throughout the day.

On Saturday, multiple ground and air resources conducted suppression operations throughout the day.

Single Engine Air Tankers and helicopters used retardant and water bucket drops to slow and check fire spread.

Ground crews established hand line and hose line on the lower/western edge of the fire as well as up the southern and northern flanks of the fire.

The eastern edge of the fire is burning in steep rugged and rocky terrain under a rock outcropping.